Instrument group names

The documentation says that

In some works for large forces, there may be multiple groups, for example, in Britten’s War Requiem, which has three distinct groups, or Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast which requires two separate off-stage brass groups. These make it necessary to be able to assign players to these groups for the purposes of, among other things, properly bracketing and labeling their staves in the conductor’s score.

This seems to suggest that instrument groups can be labeled in the score – a feature long missing in Sibelius, for instance. However, I cannot figure out how to make such a group label appear in the score. The documentation does apparently not say how. The group’s name in the left setup panel does not seem to have any options to make it visible.

Another question about instrument names: How do I add a line break to the instrument name? For instance, I would like to have something like
Trombone alto
Trombone basso
when these two share a staff. Dorico only lets me have a single line.

I would also like to have woodwinds, horns etc. to have the numbers 1 & 2 (one above the other) on shared staves.
Both situations - group names and instrument names with line breaks - are shown in the attached example. How do I achieve that with Dorico?


None of the things you have described in your post are implemented yet, Axel, but all of them are planned just as soon as we can manage to add them.

I’ll bump this instead of creating a new thread.

I would like to have both the individual instrument names for each separate staff, and the names of the bracketed groups (tubae, chor I, chor II, chor III, chor IV) visible in the score. Is this not yet possible? In such case, has anyone found a workaround?

Edit: a slight kind-of-workaround: Move music frames rightwards, add text frames to the left of each choir, midway between the upper and lower staves. Enter text.


Do you plan to have groups of instruments, say horns 1-8 (ie Mahler) whereby the staves can be split into multiple staves (say, 4 staves, such as horns 1&3, 2&4 3&6 and 4&8) or any combination as required.

Often I may need multiple instruments, flutes etc, however, I would like to be able to indicate on the stave flute 1 and not have the 2nd, 3rd or 4th in the score at the bars they aren’t actively playing (I don’t mean until the next flow).

Then, for that stave to become flutes, 1&2, 1,2&3 and any combination and to go to their own staves.

Sorry for the long winded question.

Kindest regards. Darren

Yes, we certainly plan these kinds of features for bringing music for multiple players onto a smaller number of staves, but it’s a big and complicated area, and it’s something that will take some time for us to get right. I think it will be a real “killer feature” when we get there.

Hello, Daniel.

This is my first post in the forum. I’m new to Dorico and I’m already fascinated by it. I believe you’ve done an amazing job, even though there are features missing. So, congratulations! I just hope you continue in the same path as you add on new features and avoid making the software unnecesarily complex.

Having said this, my question is: Does version 2.1 supports having multiple woodwinds in the same staff?

I would like to simply be able to, let’s say, write a score with 2 flutes, where the second flute doubles on piccolo, and within the same movement, I can have staff for either:

[flutes 1&2


[flute 1

and even

Flute 1
Flute 2

Basically, all 3 possible combinations, in the way that most published scores are written.

Perhaps there’s a way to do this with the new support for divisi staffs (which is amazing, btw!). Is there? The problem I’m running into is that with divisi I can only use Flutes and not Flute and Piccolo.

If this is not implemente yet, it’s OK. I’d just like to know.

Best wishes,


Hi Alls and welcome to the forum!
The function you are referring to is the much awaited reduce function, the “killer feature” Daniel evokes in the post right before yours. Not implemented yet, and when it will, you’ll probably know it’s there!

Thank you, Marc. I see now. I think I was deceiving myself thinking, well, maybe it’s already possible…

First: It is absolutely wonderful to be able to add player groups to an arrangement.
But in doing so, the number indicating which part the player is playing dissappears.
Would you mind having a look at that?
Without the part number, it becomes a little complicated to hand out parts to the orchestra.

Instruments held by players in separate groups aren’t numbered together automatically.

However, you can always number instruments, players, and layouts manually, depending on where you want the numbers to appear. For example, if you want the name shown at the top-left of the first page in the part layout to show e.g. “Horn 1”, you can rename the layout to “Horn 1”.

For reference, given previous comments in this thread, as of Dorico 4 it is now possible to show the names of groups in the score via player group labels.